Appalachian Adventure - 11 Day Self Drive with flights


Pittsburgh | Gettysburg | Washington DC | Charlottesville | Charleston | Columbus | Cleveland

Begin in Pittsburgh, known as the "Steel City," where industrial history meets contemporary vibrancy. Journey through the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, a pivotal site in the American Civil War, and explore the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., with its iconic landmarks and museums.

Continue south to Charlottesville, the hometown of Thomas Jefferson, and marvel at the architectural prowess of the University of Virginia and the masterpiece of Monticello. Traverse to Charleston, West Virginia, a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Head northwest to Columbus, Ohio, to experience the artistic allure of the Short North Arts District. Then, delve into Cleveland, a city on the southern shore of Lake Erie, known for its diverse economy and the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The self-drive adventure takes you through dynamic neighbourhoods, each offering a unique local flavour, showcasing the region's resilience and adaptation. As you traverse the Appalachian Mountains, witness the economic shifts in places like Youngstown, emblematic of the Rust Belt's challenges. Conclude the journey by revisiting Pittsburgh, exploring its charming boroughs like Sewickley, encapsulating the quintessential "Main Street USA" experience.

This Holiday Includes

  • Flights Return flights from the UK
  • Car Hire 11 Days Car Hire
  • Hotels 10 Nights Accommodation
  • Days 11 Days


Full Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Downtown 4*

    Greetings to Pittsburgh, the second-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As the cultural and commercial hub of the region, Pittsburgh is often hailed as the "Paris of Appalachia." Nestled at the convergence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, it has earned the moniker "City of Bridges" with an impressive tally of 446 bridges, a testament to its unique geographical setting.

    Renowned as the "Steel City," Pittsburgh boasts over 300 steel-related businesses, embodying a rich history intertwined with the American steel industry. This legacy is celebrated through its iconic American football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, holding the record for the most Super Bowl victories in history.

    The city's steel roots run deep, evidenced by the founding of Carnegie Mellon University in 1900 by steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Today, the university stands as one of the premier institutions in the United States. Pittsburgh is also the birthplace of the legendary American Pop artist Andy Warhol and the invaluable recipe for Heinz Ketchup, adding to its cultural and culinary significance. The echoes of steel's historical impact resonate throughout the city, making Pittsburgh a unique blend of industrial heritage and contemporary vibrancy.

  • Day 2

    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - 189 Miles

    Hotel: Wyndham Gettysburg 3*

    Journey away from the city and set your course southeast to discover one of the most breathtaking architectural marvels of the 20th century: Fallingwater, designed by the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright. Erected in 1935 and gracefully cantilevered over a natural waterfall, this masterpiece was crafted as a weekend retreat for the Kaufmann family, proprietors of the then-prominent Kaufman Department Store. Today, Fallingwater stands as a preserved museum, maintaining its original allure and earning a coveted spot on the Smithsonian's Life List of 28 must-visit places.

    Recognised by the American Institute of Architects as the ultimate work of American architecture, Fallingwater invites you to witness a timeless blend of design and nature. As you continue your expedition, traverse the picturesque hill country of the Maryland panhandle, making your way to one of the most significant landmarks in American history: Gettysburg. This site, marked by the echoes of a pivotal battle during the American Civil War and the historic address delivered by President Abraham Lincoln, remains meticulously preserved on the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg Battlefield—an unforgettable testament to the nation's past.

  • Day 3

    Washington DC - 82 Miles

    Hotel: Washington Hilton 4*

    Begin your morning immersing yourself in the historical tapestry of the Gettysburg National Battlefield. Afterward, chart a southward course, crossing the iconic Mason-Dixon Line as you traverse Frederick, Maryland, en route to one of the most historically significant towns in the region—Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

    With a population of fewer than 300 residents, Harpers Ferry is renowned for its pivotal role in American history, notably as the site of abolitionist John Brown's 1859 raid on the United States Armory—an event often cited as a catalyst for the Civil War. Nestled at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and straddling the borders of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, Harpers Ferry stands as one of the rare towns situated along the Appalachian Trail.

    Explore the National Historic Park, and for those seeking adventure, consider a hike to the summit of Maryland Heights Overlook. From this vantage point, witness the scenic hamlet below before resuming your journey south-eastward along the Potomac, ultimately making your way to the nation's capital, Washington DC.

    You have a full day in the capital to explore the plethora of museum’s, monuments and sights on offer.

  • Day 5

    Charlottesville, Virginia - 114 Miles

    Hotel: Hyatt Place Charlottesville 3*

    Traverse the dynamic landscape of northern Virginia — an area experiencing rapid growth and emerging as one of the United States' fastest-growing regions. The substantial influx of residents into the suburbs south of Washington has not only transformed the demographic composition of Virginia but has also, in some instances, reshaped its identity, with parts of the state shedding the traditional trappings of the American South, despite its historical role as the former Capital of the Confederacy.

    Pass through Fredericksburg, a pivotal location situated midway between the capitals of the Union and the Confederacy, where several decisive Civil War battles unfolded. Continue your exploration to the enchanting city of Charlottesville, distinguished as the hometown of Thomas Jefferson, one of America's Founding Fathers, the Third President, and the mastermind behind the Declaration of Independence.

    Charlottesville showcases Jefferson's multifaceted talents, prominently displayed in the architectural splendour of the University of Virginia, a testament to his vision and design prowess. However, the crown jewel is Monticello, his home and plantation—a must-visit masterpiece. Delve into the fascinating and complex history of this remarkable man, whose innovations, including the dumbwaiter (a precursor to the modern elevator), are ingeniously featured at Monticello.

  • Day 6

    Charleston, West Virginia - 251 Miles

    Hotel: Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston 3*

    Today offers you a picturesque drive across the Blue Ridge Mountains, as you venture toward the Allegheny Range, both integral components of the expansive Appalachian Mountain Range. Nestled within these mountains near White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, lies one of America's hidden historical gems—the Greenbrier Resort.

    Originally established around the healing sulphur waters that had drawn visitors seeking relief from rheumatism since the 18th century, the Greenbrier has evolved into a premier destination. Having hosted 26 American Presidents, its current facilities elevate it to the status of one of the leading Grand hotels in America. Notably, during the Cold War, the Greenbrier took on a new role as the site of an extensive underground bunker. This covert facility, code-named "Project Greek Island," was designed as an emergency shelter for Congress in the event of a nuclear attack. Today, visitors can explore this intriguing piece of history by touring the bunker and gaining insight into its Cold War-era significance.

  • Day 7

    Columbus, Ohio - 162 Miles

    Hotel: Graduate Columbus 4*

    Having gained a comprehensive understanding of various epochs in American history, with a particular focus on the Civil War, it's noteworthy that West Virginia secured its statehood by separating from Virginia during that conflict. Renowned for its mountains, rolling hills, and historically significant coal industry, which has witnessed a decline in recent decades due to shifts in energy and technology, West Virginia offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolving landscapes of American industry.

    Begin your morning by exploring the West Virginia State Museum and the captivating State Capitol building. Immerse yourself in the local flavours at the Capitol Market, gaining a deeper sense of the region's unique culinary identity. As you bid farewell to West Virginia, cross the formidable Ohio River, marking your entry into the Buckeye State, with its capital and largest city, Columbus, beckoning.

    Upon reaching Columbus, indulge in the evening ambiance of the Short North Arts District, renowned as "the art and soul of Columbus." This vibrant district promises a delightful blend of creativity and culture, providing a fitting conclusion to your exploration of West Virginia's rich history and diverse landscapes.

  • Day 8

    Cleveland, Ohio - 143 Miles

    Hotel: Hilton Cleveland Downtown 4*

    This morning, delve deeper into the offerings of Columbus by exploring the German Village, a downtown neighbourhood that stands as one of the foremost historic districts in the United States. Uncover the charm of this area with its notable shops, including the renowned Book Loft, offering a unique and delightful shopping experience. Additionally, don't miss the Botanical Gardens and Columbus Zoo, both standout attractions in this city that has truly found its rhythm.

    In the late afternoon, set your course northward toward Cleveland. Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland has a rich history as a manufacturing centre intricately connected to numerous rail and canal lines. Evolving over recent years, with the shifting landscape of manufacturing, Cleveland's economy has diversified into financial services, healthcare, and biomedical sectors. The city proudly hosts several major league sports teams, each boasting a dedicated fan base. Furthermore, Cleveland is home to the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an essential stop that should not be overlooked.

  • Day 9

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - 137 Miles

    Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Downtown 4*

    Before bidding farewell to Cleveland, take the opportunity to explore at least one of the vibrant neighbourhoods surrounding downtown. Ohio City, Tremont, and University Circle each offer their distinct local flavour, providing a glimpse into the diverse and dynamic character of the city.

    En route back to Pittsburgh, you'll pass through Youngstown, a city emblematic of the economic challenges prevalent in the region known as the Rust Belt. The decline in economic conditions, a narrative echoed across many urban centres in the area, stands as a testament to the ongoing transformation within the American economy, with far-reaching implications for both the region and national politics.

    As you've observed throughout this journey, urban centres in the region have adapted and diversified, a contrast to the struggles faced by some rural areas. This dynamism positions the region at the forefront of a continuous shift within the American economy, shaping the trajectory of American politics.

    With the remaining time, savour the aspects of Pittsburgh you may have missed at the beginning of this tour. If time allows before your journey home, consider exploring one of the charming boroughs surrounding the city, such as Sewickley—a visit that promises to leave you with a lasting impression of "Main Street USA."

  • Day 11

    Depart Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Today, your Appalachian Adventure comes to a close. Take your car back to the airport and drop it off in time for your departure flight.

View full itinerary

Tailor your holiday

All of our self drive holidays can be tailored to suit your needs; add extra nights and destinations, upgrade your hotels, flights and car hire, or allow us to completely tailor an itinerary that's right for you!

Call today on 0207 749 9282 or enquire online to speak to a member of our expert team. We'll help you bring the art of escape to your American adventure.

Add nights from £47
Upgrade your car
Upgrade to Convertible from £150
Upgrade to Standard SUV from £79
Upgrade your flights
Upgrade to Premium Economy from £412
Upgrade to Business Class from £2,745
Not found what you’re looking for?
Call us on 0207 749 9282 or enquire online.

Book Today


Guide Price: £2,145

Call today on 0207 749 9282 to speak to a member of our expert team.
We'll help you bring the art of escape to your American adventure.

Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room and include flights from the UK, pre-booked accommodation, car hire with unlimited mileage. Note: Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar standard. Prices based on travel in low season (November & December 2024). For travel outside of these dates, the itinerary and inclusions may vary to that shown above - please contact us for details.

Enquire now

Adults 2 , Children 0

Contact name*
Contact phone number*
Best time to contact you
How did you hear about us?